Thursday, February 26, 2009

Campos Issues Statement on SB12

Sen. Pete Campos, D-Las Vegas, who in the past voted for domestic partnership, sent a statement explaining today's vote against it.

"I spent many hours deliberating about this issue and did not come to my decision lightly or easily. I have talked with and listened to many groups, individuals, families and friends about their beliefs, personal situations, constitutional freedoms and religious stances, as well as about the effects of prejudice in their lives. They have all expressed a genuine desire to have equal rights to share personal holdings and be able to make end-of-life decisions for loved ones and lifetime partners. It has become clear to me over the last year that this issue involves much more than allowing elderly couples to more easily care for each other, enjoy hospital visitation rights and inherit a loved one's belongings and assets. As last year's court cases in California have shown, this issue has wider implications and needs much more study and review.

"If this legislation is not enacted into law this year, I will continue to monitor the issue over the next year with the goal of preserving the institution of marriage in New Mexico while ensuring that all New Mexicans enjoy certain basic rights in their personal relationships.

"The bottom line is this decision has been very difficult for me."

UPDATE: Gov. Bill Richardson also issued a statement: “I’m disappointed by the Senate’s actions today in defeating what is fundamentally an issue of civil rights and equality.”

Also I just spoke to Sen. Carlos Cisneros about his vote change. He said it wasn't a tactical move. He said he initially voted yes because he'd committed to the sponsor to do that. But when he saw the margin was as big as it was, he changed. He said his clergy was opposed and that had a big influence.